A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about landscapes

Christchurch - Twizel

Start of the South Island Road trip

semi-overcast 17 °C
View New Zealand on pkaplicz's travel map.

We made it to the South Island!!! After a very relaxed time at Wellington airport, where some lady asked me where my trousers were from, we boarded our Air NZ flight to Christchurch. We picked up our hire car (and got upgraded to a Toyota Corolla again) and were making our way out of the airport by 10:30am! Today our destination was Twizel, as a half way point between Christchurch and Queenstown and a way to get to Aoraki Mount Cook the next day. Shortly after leaving Christchurch we got to a viewpoint where we pulled over. On a nice day you would be able to see the Southern Alps from there, but unfortunately the weather was not on our side. I did find a familiar place though!
Thankfully as we drove on the clouds cleared and we got some more of that lovely sunshine that we have gotten so used to! Our first stop was Rakaia Gorge, which was much nicer than I expected and definitely worth not going via the main highway.
We went for a walk to get a better view, however about 3/4 of the way there was a section where you had to climb over some tree roots with a fairly steep drop on the other side, so I let Laura go ahead. She got all the way to the second viewpoint - which is supposed to be 1 hr from where we were and she did it in about 30 mins!
We stopped in Geraldine to pick up some jam, and then at a bakery in Fairlie to get some pies for dinner (they were absolutely delicious - well, I know mine was)! We pulled over a few times to take some photos of the view, which was fantastic.
On we went to Lake Tekapo. This is a very popular spot to stop and there were so many people around. But, once we walked a minute or so further, there were very few people! The sunshine made the lake show its famous beautiful blue colour and it was stunning to see.
We also went inside the little church, which had a gorgeous view and was so peaceful (you can't take photos there).
Finally, we got on with our drive to Twizel. Along the way we stopped at a few viewpoints, which was definitely worth it for photos of the blue Lake Pukaki and the snow capped mountains in the background.
We had an early night (again), to be ready for our much anticipated visit to Mt Cook.

Posted by pkaplicz 00:04 Archived in New Zealand Tagged landscapes lake_tekapo road_trip christchurch twizel Comments (0)

Milford Sound

So many photos!

all seasons in one day 15 °C
View Sydney & New Zealand on pkaplicz's travel map.

Milford Sound was one of my top things to do in New Zealand and it was finally here. We had to leave at 7am to get to Te Anau where our tour started from. Once again, on the day of one of our most anticipated trips, it was raining very heavily!

Thankfully, as at Mt Cook, we were lucky and when we stopped at most places it was only drizzling or had cleared. Unfortunately, because of the rain the mirror lakes did not actually show a mirror reflection, but it was still pretty and nice to stretch our legs for a few minutes.

We went for a walk up to a waterfall which was very pretty, plus a little robin (according to our guide) stopped and posed for photos!

Thanks to the rain there were loads of waterfalls along the mountains as we drove along (most I couldn't take a good picture of).

We also stopped at Gunns camp for hot drinks, biscuits, and scones!

Finally we got to Milford sound and I was very excited. We were on a small boat tour and it was probably only half full (maybe 30-40 people max)! Even though it was raining for parts and windy too I spent most of my time outside and even chatted to the captain at one point. It really was 4 seasons in a day, as it even hailed for about 2 minutes! There were lots of waterfalls (including the one the boat went nearly under) and the changing weather meant I got lots of beautiful photos. We even saw some seals chilling on a rock!
DSC_0823.JPG 'kissing turtles'


The cruise was sadly over, and we got on the bus to get back, when we discovered that the minibus wouldn't start! It gave us a chance to pop out and get some more photos, and we were finally on the way.

On the way back we got to take some more photo stops, and even saw and heard a tui bird! One of the great things about being on a minibus tour, with only 8 other people, is that our driver could pull over if he saw a nice view or if we wanted him to stop.

Posted by pkaplicz 23:23 Archived in New Zealand Tagged landscapes waterfalls nature milford_sound sun_rain_hail Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]